Childhood memory flashed through my mind as fleeting as fireflies and lightning bugs. Under the thick summer canopy of elms around my grandfather’s cabin, we would race capturing fireflies to put in jars. My real joy was watching them freely rise and spin, dart and swirl, appearing and disappearing with ease.
These tiny light generators danced spontaneously through the night air. I still view them with childlike amazement. It is a chemical reaction inside the firefly’s body that allows them to light up.
There is nothing extraordinary about fireflies by day. But in the dark, watch and see!
Let it Shine
The evidence of Jesus Christ within us is meant to spontaneously shine, creating an atmosphere of amazement and wonder to those around us.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Do you catch the implication? We have an ability to either hide The Light, Jesus, from others or “let” our lights shine!
I have long struggled with preferring to go unnoticed, while at the same time desiring God to be seen in my life. Only when people witness what God is doing will He get the glory He deserves — even if that means I am uncomfortable in the process!
I like the way Paul says it,
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,
of whom I am the foremost.
But I received mercy for this reason,
that in me, as the foremost,
Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience
as an example to those who were to believe
in him for eternal life.”
I Timothy 1:15-16
When people see God through the worst of the worst, it is evidence of His grace and confirmation, Jesus Christ is Saviour of all!
I can relate! Every time God uses me in some small way, I am amazed! If His grace is on my life, His grace is for any and all! I don’t say this lightly! I am no human lightning bug. Apart from God, I have no ability to produce anything good.
But Christ in us? That is a different story!
Shine in Darkness
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
made his light shine in our hearts
to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory
displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay
to show that this all-surpassing power
is from God and not from us.”
2 Corinthians 4:6-7
Let light shine! There is that small but important word again – “let”!
Sometimes it is the recognition of the darkness of our own hearts, or the fragile condition of these clay pots we inhabit that condemns us enough to hide the light rather than shine it. The tiniest light is visible in darkness. In the same way, even the smallest act of faith in front of the world will allow Christ to be seen.
If, we “let” Light shine!
Take courage friends,
“The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
God is Light
Don’t get confused, however, God is Light!
“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
Yet at the same time, that Light has chosen to limit Himself to inhabit and be revealed though human flesh. The limitless God, set within the boundary of humanity!
If we don’t “let” The Light shine, Jesus Christ will not be seen in our world. With this reality is a tremendous privilege, challenge, and responsibility.
But here is the paradox: God is Light and so are we!
“You are the light of the world.
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket,
but on a stand, and it gives light
to all in the house.”
God’s supernatural light radically ignites us, transforming us into human lightning bugs and fireflies! We are His lights shining brightly in a dark world. We may prefer to cower under a basket or hide in a back room, but God has placed each of us where His light will be clearly seen.
I have no idea how fireflies feel locked in a jar while wide-eyed children examine their every move. But maybe I do understand a little!
For All The World
I don’t thrive in
the spotlight of examination,
the confines of legalized agendas,
or the boundaries of control.
Set me free to roam the dark world of the broken, rejected, and hurting! Let me loose on the streets of my city or the cells of our prisons! Lift the lid and release me into hospitals and psychiatric wards! Free me to teach and preach, mentor and disciple! It is here my little light shines freely and fully.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”
The Light has come! Jesus Christ came, lived a sinless life, and died a horrific death to redeem all mankind. Yet, there is a world that knows nothing about Jesus, The Light of the world. How is it possible that millions have never heard His Name? Yet it is true!
God has lifted the lid of our confinement! “Let your light shine,” He urges.
He has filled us with His Spirit and set us loose. As people clearly see Christ in us, God will get the glory, the Kingdom of God will expand its reach, and Light will invade darkness.
Lightning bugs are tiny, yet there light shines incredibly far. Take wing fellow fireflies and let Christ be seen in you. “Let your light shine!”